Support for My Loved Ones

If you’re living with HE you’re likely to need support from family and friends who might accompany you to medical appointments, make sure you take your medications on a regular basis, help with household chores such as cleaning or preparing meals, and provide for your safety when your symptoms are more severe.

It’s important to keep in mind that the person giving care and the person receiving care are in this together – sometimes referred to as “care partners.” You as the person with the disease may be the one requiring assistance, but the needs and concerns of both partners must be addressed for the relationship to stay healthy.

The person giving care – the caregiver – often experiences many of the same emotions that you might experience: anger, fear, isolation, depression. As the caregiver takes on more responsibilities it can be overwhelming for him or her to balance assisting you, along with their job, the kids, household duties and so forth. This can lead to the caregiver feeling burned out.

It’s very important for the caregiver to take steps to ward off burnout. One of the biggest mistakes that caregivers make is to think that they can – or should – handle everything themselves. They start to neglect their own needs, both emotional and physical, and the strain begins to take a toll. It’s important for you to remember that your loved ones need a break too – not from you – but from the disease and the toll it can take.

There are many support services for caregivers and you should encourage your loved ones to take advantage of them. Your “care partner” can get more information by referring to the section specifically for caregivers of people with HE.